Today I am honored to introduce you to Pamela Carey, an award-winning author. I met Pam a year ago at the Florida Writers Association annual conference in Orlando, and we became friends.
Please tell us a little about yourself.
I was fortunate to grow up in Greenwich, Connecticut, where I attended public
schools. My courses challenged me and there were lots of extra-curricular
activities available in those days. My parents were involved in, and committed
to, public education.
I received my undergraduate degree from Colby College in Maine, where
students had to write papers frequently. It led to my love of language
and a major in American Literature. After graduate school, I taught high school
English in Connecticut, Georgia, and Maine.
The year I taught in Warner Robins, Georgia, my husband had just returned from
Viet Nam (he was an Air Force officer). It was the first year the schools were
integrated there. There was just one anthology per student for the year in English,
so my students helped me raise money to purchase paperbacks as supplements.
The assistant principal still used a wooden paddle to discipline kids, so I would
never send anyone to his office.
After I had our two sons, I stayed home for ten years. When I tried to re-enter the
work force in the 70’s, there was a glut of teachers. Since we were living in
Rhode Island, I enrolled in a Master’s program in interior design at R.I. School
of Design. I apprenticed for a local designer and then started my own company,
which I owned for fourteen years.
In 1993, while our two sons played professional baseball for the Red Sox organi-
zation, my husband and I relocated to Delray Beach, Florida. Being retired gave
me time to write and in 2009 Barking Cat Books published Minor League Mom:
A Mother’s Journey through the Red Sox Farm Teams, which tells the story of the
seven years my husband and I followed our sons through the six levels of the
minor leagues. Since we’re “snowbirds,” we return to Red Sox country for five
months every year.
When did you first realize you wanted to write?
In elementary school, I used to sit on a bridge over a brook and write trite, mushy
poems about flowers, clouds, and of course, the brook. I mean, what does a
ten-year-old know about life?
At Colby College, I discovered my AP English teachers in high school had
prepared us well. I flew through my mandatory English courses, while my peers
were flunking. So that was reinforcement to continue to write.
My first job out of college was as the Information Director for the Delaware
Department of Education. I had to write all their press releases. After that, I
Both of my published books are nonfiction memoirs. The first, as I mentioned,
was the account of our family’s journey through professional baseball, and what
happens to the minor leaguers on their way up the ladder.
The second book was my story as a caregiver when my healthy, independent parents in their nineties needed help. The book is titled, Elderly Parents with All Their Marbles: A
Survival Guide for the Kids.
I wrote it in the form of a handbook with 49 humorous “rules” I devised. There’s also an appendix in the back with websites, definitions, and phone numbers for caregivers. I gave a copy to each of our sons, and I can only hope they read it!
How long did it take you to write each book from start to publication?
I wrote because people were interested in the story of our sons in professional
baseball. I didn’t write with the intention of publishing, and knew nothing about
the process. So Minor League Mom took three years from start to publication. I
knew a newspaperman for the Providence Journal who read the first fifty pages
of my manuscript and said, “You’ve got to publish this!” That validated me as a
writer. Then I found an editor who became a mentor and helped me refine the
prose. Afterward, I joined two writer’s critique groups who continue to challenge
me and endorse me.
I searched for an agent and major publishing house and was rejected seventy
times. But I refused to give up, because people believed my story was unique
as the mother of two minor leaguers. That’s when I began approaching small,
My second book, Elderly Parents with All Their Marbles, took just eighteen
months from start to finish. Barking Cat Books published that, too. The book just won a gold medal in the self-help category from the Florida Authors & Publishers
When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing?
In Florida I play on a tennis team, so in the morning I’m usually on the court or at the fitness center. Then I answer emails or other correspondence, fulfill demands for marketing the books, pay bills, and do errands. I write after dinner and into the night. Sometimes I rework sections in bed and jump up to make notes. Then I can’t read them in the morning!
Anyone who aspires to be a writer has to be an avid reader. I belong to two
book clubs. My husband and I love to travel, which brings adventure, tolerance,
and self-knowledge. I’m using travel as the basis for the humorous nonfiction
project I’m working on, which will be a survival guide for traveling with a
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers/authors?
Immerse yourself in your craft – take courses, read everything you can get
your hands on, get practical experience, do your research, seek out mentors, and
Oh yes – don’t be afraid to ask questions. There will be people willing to help
you along the way. Most importantly, don’t give up!! Self-publishing today
offers so many options to aspiring authors.
I know you travel to Italy often. What keeps you going back to Bella
Where do I begin? There are few places in the world where we feel so comfortable. It’s the antiquities and history; the jaw-dropping beauty of the landscapes; the friendliness of the people who want us to “Mangia! Mangia!” and appreciate our bungled attempts at Italian;
and of course, fresh pasta in every trattoria in even the tiniest village.
Do you find it difficult to make time to promote and market your books?
Writing is the easy part, believe me! Marketing is the hard part. You can
write a Pulitzer Prize winner, but people have to know about it.
Publishers, even the big houses, no longer have unlimited budgets for marketing,
if they have any budget at all. The responsibility falls on the author, and a
marketing plan should be part of the book’s proposal.
I devoted a year to interviews, speeches, and book events after the publication
of my first book about our sons in professional baseball. I called everyone I knew who belonged to a club that was relevant to my baseball story so that I could speak. I even spoke in a Red Sox stadium’s clubhouse! I used all my contacts in the organizations and affiliations I belonged to in order to arrange book events. It’s imperative that an author become an engaging speaker!
The publisher provided support with technical expertise, and sent press releases and advance copies. He also designed and maintained a website for me. I entered the world of social media on Facebook and Twitter and began blogging – necessary evils today that all take time! The publisher paid for none of my events or catering.
I am still marketing my second book, Elderly Parents with All Their Marbles,
eighteen months after publication. It continues to sell because caregiving for
elderly parents is a universal topic in this country. Sometimes my writing gets
pushed to a back burner, but I set my own goals and don’t stress about it at this age.
Pamela’s books are available on Amazon.
I’d love to hear your feedback. Please leave a comment for Pam.